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24 Mar 2005 : Column 941W—continued


Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list companies which have submitted accreditation questionnaires to the Department as part of the pre-qualification procedure for the operation of the new Great Western Franchise. [222773]

Mr. McNulty: The Strategic Rail Authority is continuing to evaluate the submissions. A list of all companies submitting questionnaires will be released when the successful pre-qualified bidders are announced.

Surplus Assets Sales

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value of sales of surplus assets from his Department was in each year since 2000–01. [220965]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport was formed on 29 May 2002 and has published Resource Accounts since 2002–03, copies of these accounts are laid before the House and are available in the Library.

In their Resource Accounts Departments are required to disclose the proceeds from the sale of fixed assets consistent with the requirements of the Resource Accounting Manual (RAM) and Government Accounting.

The proceeds from the sale of fixed assets were:
£ million

24 Mar 2005 : Column 942W

Transport Services (Leicester)

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains into Leicester (a) have arrived late in the last (i) three and (ii) six months and (b) arrived late in 2004. [223645]

Mr. McNulty: Trains are timed at their final destination station and Leicester is not the final destination station for the majority of trains serving it. The train operators do not compile the requested information.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what financial support he has made available for bus services in (a) Leicester and (b) England in each year since 1997. [223652]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department has made available funding to local authorities in England under the Urban Bus Challenge (UBC) Competition. Leicester has been successful with two UBC awards, for the Braunstone Community Service (£1.130 million awarded in 2001) and the for the Service 54 Enhancement (£82,000 awarded in 2003).

Since 1998 the Department has also made available funding to local authorities in England under the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) and the Rural Bus Challenge (RBC) Competition. The following table shows the total amounts made available under all three grant schemes in England by year:
£ million1

(14) Includes totals awarded to RBC and UBC schemes in the year of award. Expenditure on Challenge projects is typically spread over 2–3 financial years. Challenge competitions were not held in 2004.

The majority of funding for local bus services is available through the Government's Revenue Support Grant (RSG) to local authorities. It is a matter for each authority to decide how much of their RSG resources are used to support bus services.

Bus services throughout England will also have benefited from the Department's Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) and support for local transport capital expenditure.

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many violent attacks there have been against (a) staff on Leicester buses, (b) staff employed at Leicester Railway Station and (c) Leicestershire's traffic police in each year since 1997. [223654]

Mr. McNulty: The information is as follows:

(a) Data on bus staff assaults are only recorded at a national level for England and separately for London.
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(b) The BTP have provided the following data concerning attacks against staff employed at Leicester Railway Station. The data are shown by performance year 1 April-31 March since 1998. Due to the significant
24 Mar 2005 : Column 944W
changes in the way that crime was recorded due to new Home Office Counting Rules on 1 April 1998, the BTP have informed me that there are no comparable data for 1997:
Actual Bodily Harm210210
Causing Racially Aggravated Harassment, Alarm or Distress000110
Common Assault361137

(c) The Department does not collect data on attacks on traffic police, who are part of local authority police forces.


Conception Rates

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average conception rate for those under 18 years was in each year since 1998; if he will list the 20 per cent. of wards with the highest conception rates for those under the age of 18 in each year; and what the average total conception rate for those under the age of 18 was in each year, calculated from those wards designated as belonging to the 20 per cent. with the highest rates of under-18 conceptions. [221445]

Margaret Hodge: The following table shows the rate of under-18 conceptions for each year from 1998 (the baseline year for the teenage pregnancy strategy) to 2003 (the latest year for which data are available). This shows that the rate has declined by 9.8 per cent. since 1998.
Table 1: Under-18 conceptions in England: 1998–2003

Under-18 conception rate(15)Percentage change since 1998

(15) Per thousand females aged 15–17
Office for National Statistics and Teenage Pregnancy Unit, 2005

Aggregated ward-level data for 2000–02 shows that the average rate in the 20 per cent. of wards with the highest rates is 76.8 per 1,000 females aged 15–17. A table containing the names of the 1,608 highest rate wards has been placed in the Library.

Customs and Excise

Mr. Luff: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the current rental cost is of office space occupied by Customs and Excise in (a) Birmingham and (b) Droitwich Spa; [223767]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of transferring computer equipment and systems from the Customs and Excise office in Droitwich Spa to Birmingham, including the cost of contractual changes with suppliers; [223769]

(3) when the Offices of Customs and Excise in Droitwich Spa were most recently refurbished; what the total cost was of the refurbishment, separately identifying the costs of (a) redecoration, (b) double glazing, (c) provision of office equipment and computer contracts and (d) lighting; [223726]

(4) what his estimate is of the costs of providing alternative office accommodation for staff to be moved from the Customs and Excise Office in Droitwich Spa including (a) the cost of rented space and (b) refurbishment costs of office space in Birmingham; [223727]

(5) whether his Department has undertaken a full cost-benefit analysis of the decision to close the Droitwich Spa office of Customs and Excise. [223728]

Mr. Timms: No decision on relocation has yet been made. The Droitwich office is owned by the Ministry of Defence who have confirmed their intention to close the building and have given notice to Customs and Excise to find alternative accommodation. In these circumstances, Customs have not undertaken a cost analysis of the closure. Until relocation details are agreed it is not possible to provide costings for the alternative office space or for the cost of transferring equipment and systems.

The rental of the premises cannot be separately identified, as a single payment is made to the MoD encompassing both rent and rates. The space occupied by Customs in Birmingham was transferred to Mapeley Ltd. as part of a PFI deal in April 2001. A Facility Price is payable for this space which is for fully serviced accommodation. Again, a figure for rental alone is not available.

Records show the most recent office refurbishment took place in 1995, but detailed information is not readily available.

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